Shika Nuclear Power Plant
|Shika Nuclear Power Plant|
|Construction began||July 1, 1989|
|Commission date||July 30, 1993|
|Operator(s)||Hokuriku Electric Power Company|
|Units operational||1 x 540 MW
1 x 1358 MW
The Shika Nuclear Power Plant (志賀原子力発電所 Shika genshiryoku hatsudensho?, Shika NPP) is a nuclear power plant located in the town of Shika, Ishikawa, Japan. It is owned and operated by the Hokuriku Electric Power Company. It is on a site that is 1.6 km2 (395 acres).
Reactors on Site
|Unit||Type||Commission date||Electric Power||Thermal Power||Maker|
|Shika - 1||BWR||July 30, 1993||540 MW||1,593 MW||Hitachi|
|Shika - 2||ABWR||March 15, 2006||1,358 MW||3,926 MW||Hitachi|
1999 Criticality Event
On June 18, 1999 during an inspection, an emergency control rod insertion was to be performed on Unit 1. One rod was to be inserted into the reactor, however, due to improper following of the procedure, instead of one rod inserting, 3 rods withdrew. For the next 15 minutes, the reactor was in a dangerous criticality state. This event was not revealed until March 15, 2007, since it was covered up in the records. Unit 1 remained shut down, pending judicial and bureaucratic evaluation.
Immediately after the event was revealed, the president of the Hokuriku Electric Power Company was called to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry office and ordered to shut down the unit 1 reactor. Note that this was not the same president as when the event happened in 1999.
On June 5, 2007 the committee chairman of the Japan Nuclear Safety Commission inspected the control rod housing and drive mechanisms and evaluated that the event was due to cutting corners. He also concluded that the reactor operators at the time were under a lot of pressures from above, and simply punishing the operators would not be an effective deterrent for future accidents. One proposed measure was to have alarms automatically record when they go off so that records can not be altered.
A lower court had ordered the entire plant to be shut down, but that decision was later overturned by Nagoya's high court. The utility put in a request to the Ishikawa prefectural government and the town of Shika for the restart of unit 1. The unit returned to power on May 11, 2009 and resumed commercial operation on May 13.
Construction of an Anti-Tsunami-wall
On Wednesday 5 October 2011 a start was made with the construction of a reinforced concrete wall, that should shield the reactors against a possible tsunami. The wall was designed 4 meters high and 700 meters long, 11 meters above sea level. This was done to comply with extra governmental instructions ordered after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Next to this a new drainage gate was to be installed to minimize damage to plant facilities in case seawater would be able to climb over the wall and would submerge the plant. Other emergency safety measures included the installing of an extra pump to cool the reactors with seawater and an extra power source to operate a valve for venting steam out of reactors. Construction should be completed by the end of March 2013.
Possible two active faults situated under the reactors
On 16 July 2012 research done by the Japanese government did reveal the strong possibility that the S-1-fault beneath the power station might be active. Raising doubts about the claim made by the company in 1997, that it is inactive. It is not allowed to built a nuclear reactor above an active quake fault. If these findings would be confirmed, the Shika power station could be labeled as sitting on premises ineligible for a nuclear power plant. The fault, which runs southeast to northwest within the premises -- moved sometime after 130,000 to 120,000 years ago. A review of old excavation data did suggest the strong possibility, that S-1 could have been active in a relatively recent period. The presence of another fault that lies beneath the No. 2 reactor, if the two faults would move at the same time, this could put the power plant into danger. 
- Hokuriku Power. Shika NPP information sheet.
- Reuters. Japan's Hokuriku seeks local OK for nuclear restart. March 18, 2009.
- NucNet. Japan’s Shika-1 Returns To Service. May 22, 2009.
- JAIF (5 October 2011)Earthquake-report 226: Construction of seawall begins at nuclear plant
- The Mainichi Shimbun (17 July 2012) Research shows Shika atomic plant may sit on active quake fault
- Ishikawa Prefecture Nuclear Emergency Plans 石川県原子力安全対策室
- Environment radiation monitoring 環境放射線モニタリング
- Hokuriku Electric Company 北陸電力
- Noto Hanto earthquake (Japan)